Open congressional seat Day 183
Assemb. Michael LiPetri, 29, has been an early bloomer in New York political circles, a 2015 Albany Law School graduate who was elected to the State Assembly in 2018 and now, less than two years later, is making a run for Congress.
That hasn’t left a lot of time for work experience. You wouldn’t know it, though, looking at the Massapequa Republican’s Assembly biography, which notes his work defending “the City and its agencies including the NYPD, FDNY, and correctional officers,” plus some other high-profile offices: “Mike also worked in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Albany County District Attorney’s Office, and the Attorney General of the State of New York.”
The first part describes the type of work LiPetri did as part of the New York City Law Department, where he worked from August 2015 to December 2016. He later moved to the firm Rivkin Radler.
The other prestigious posts are roles in which LiPetri was an intern while in law school.
LiPetri told The Point that he did real work during those intern gigs, from drafting motions to conducting hearings and prosecuting a bench trial, which law enforcement officials said was possible in such positions with appropriate supervision. But he said he wasn’t paid, and he was still in training: “I wasn’t a barred attorney yet.”
The Assembly bio’s inclusion of work not labeled as internships mirrors a resume he has distributed in the past.
A 2017 professional welcome notice from Rivkin Radler noting LiPetri’s work experience leaves out the internships.
“I don’t misrepresent anything,” LiPetri said, adding that what the internships signify is his “dedication” to public service.
LiPetri is among the crop of newcomers in the 2nd Congressional District, including fellow Republican and Assemb. Andrew Garbarino, 35, and Democrat Jackie Gordon, 55, who is making her first run for Congress. They are seeking to replace retiring Rep. Pete King, who earned his law degree when those candidates were in diapers or not yet born.
—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano
Going the distance for learning
Nobody’s going to school, but it seems like everybody is talking about it, worrying about it and wondering about it. Distance learning in the wake of New York’s decision to shutter school buildings for the final three months of the 2019-2020 school year has created extraordinary stress among teachers, parents and students trying to keep the learning rolling. Uncertainty about when or whether things will ever return to normal is adding to the tension. And fears that school funding will be drastically cut because of revenue shortfalls and crushing expenses at the state level are heightening fears even more.
Newsday’s Tuesday webinar with education experts to talk about the issues and answer audience questions featured Nassau BOCES Superintendent Robert Dillon and Rockville Centre School District Superintendent William Johnson.
The conversation hit several topics, including the possibility of cutting sports and extracurricular programs if state aid to schools plummets, and the extraordinary difficulty of teaching elementary-age school children to maintain distancing and forgo hand-holding and sharing in favor of six-foot spacing and masks.
The two verteran Long Island educators also shared thoughts on the difficulty of special education and distance learning, the emotional issues children and parents are experiencing now, the potentially widening gulf between financially prosperous districts and less advantaged ones, and the limitations of technology in teaching hands-on disciplines.
To watch the conversation, go here, and keep an eye out for the next episode of Newsday’s education webinar series.
—Lane Filler @lanefiller
Coronavirus in the White House
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A glance at Long Island’s social distancing enforcement efforts
The Legal Aid Society criticized the NYPD on Tuesday about new data on “COVID-related” arrests, mostly of black and Hispanic people. That comes days after the release of information on social distancing violations that shows the vast majority of the 374 summonses issued as of May 5 went to minorities.
The Point took a look at some similar social-distancing enforcement data on Long Island, which so far shows less for advocates to fight about. The Nassau County Police Department did not give any summonses to individuals as of Monday, according to a spokesman. The Suffolk County Police Department as of Monday had issued a single April 19 civil summons for failure to comply with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive order, “when an individual refused a request to social distance or wear a mask on Main Street in Port Jefferson,” said a spokeswoman.
That lone individual was white.
Those figures, however, provide just a snapshot of the enforcement picture on Long Island. Smaller police departments aren’t included, for example, and dozens of businesses were found to be violating the law in some manner and sometimes issued a desk appearance ticket. There were also numerous “verbal warnings coupled with education,” said Richard LeBrun, an NCPD spokesman. Suffolk indicated similar educational efforts.
That’s where things stand after weeks of social distancing in the heart of the epidemic — before warmer weather approaches and even more Long Islanders are inclined to be out and about.
—Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano